Durham College will be sending instructors to a college in South America to lead a new automotive program.
It is expected that in spring of next year, instructors will be travelling to a local school in Guyana’s capital of Georgetown to help develop this program.
Automotive technology is one of the emerging industries in Guyana. More than 95 per cent of the cars on the streets there are Toyota, but the country is working to develop further production of vehicles.
Darrin Caron, Durham College’s Dean of Skilled Trades, Apprenticeship and Renewable Technology, explains that the automotive production system in Guyana is a lot different than here.
“In Canada, you cannot work on a car unless you are in an apprenticeship. They don’t have the same model in Guyana. There’s a lot more steps in those countries to develop an industry.”
He also explains in Canada there is no difference in electronic and regular automotive technology, but in Guyana there is. It takes more skills and knowledge to know how to use the electronic side, and that’s what the instructors plan to teach while on site in the country.
“We’re really excited about working there,” says Caron.
“It’s a great opportunity to get faculty involved in international programs.”
The instructors were chosen based on their level of expertise as well as their interest in the program, explains Fiona Richards, Executive Director of the International Office at Durham College.
“The project is part of Durham College’s broader internationalization goals. By participating in such programs we hope to open up numerous opportunities for Durham College faculty and staff to gain international experience and share their expertise with colleagues outside of Canada,” explains Richards.
“It also provides the opportunity for the college to engage globally in areas where it has proven to be a leader regionally and among colleges across Canada.” The concept for the program came to Durham though a company called Government Technical Institute Guyana, an organization that offers education and training to youth and adults in technical, commercial and scientific fields of the economy. Along with this company, the project is part of a larger concept for international education called Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) Education for Employment program. CICan completed a large amount of research and identified a strong need for a skilled workforce in the Caribbean, specifically in the automotive industry.
Guyana was also determined to have a particularly strong need. Due to its geographical location below sea level, it is lacking in the economic growth that tourism brings to surrounding islands such as the Bahamas.
The company then contacted various Canadian colleges and each one submitted a proposal for consideration to be involved in the program. Along with Durham College, College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland was chosen to be part of the program in Guyana.